Phormium are a tall genus of hardy perennials.
They range in height from 90 cm to over 3 metres (3 to 10 feet).
Most Phormium plants grown in gardens are half hardy perennials. They bloom in the summer.
Phormium tenax by Wallygrom.
They are mainly grown for their attractive leaves. These are sword shaped, and striped red, white, or yellow.
Some common names for members of Phormium plant genus include Mountain Flax, Flax Lily, and New Zealand Flax.
Phormium tenax (New Zealand Flax / New Zealand Hemp), photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.
Phormium colensoi (Lesser New Zealand Flax), picture by RuthP; CC.
The seeds of New Zealand flax, Mountain Flax and other Phormium species should be sown outdoors in February. Simply cover the seeds once sown.
Alternatively, they can be started off indoors. Start growing them about 2 to 3 months in advance.
The germination time of Phormium plant seeds varies widely, ranging from one to six months. They should germinate fine at about 15 to 18 degrees centigrade (59 to 64°F).
Phormium plants should be spaced 30 cm (12 inches; small species), 50 cm (20 inches; medium sized species), or 90+ cm apart (over 3 feet; larger varieties).
They are quite versatile plants, and can be grown in both sunny and partially shaded areas.
The soil that Mountain Flax and other Phormium plants grow in should be moist, sandy and have a fertile composition.
It is easy to look after Mountain flax, they require a moist soil so water regularly, and divide every three years or so to maintain vigorous growth.
If you require more Phormium plants, then propagate by division in the springtime.
The Phormium genus contains only two species, which are commonly called New Zealand flax.
Yes, Phormium plants are valued for their striking, sword-like leaves that come in a variety of colors, from deep green to bronze to variegated patterns. They are often used as focal points or in mass plantings in landscape design.
Both species, Phormium tenax and Phormium cookianum, are grown, with P. tenax being the more common. There are many cultivars available, with varied leaf colors and patterns.
No, Phormium plants are not known for their fragrance.
Phormium plants prefer a sunny to partially shaded location with well-drained soil. They are tolerant of coastal conditions, including salt spray.
P. tenax can be invasive in some areas, particularly in California, where it can crowd out native plants in natural habitats.
Phormium can be tough to remove due to their large, fibrous root systems. Digging out the entire plant, including all roots, is necessary.
Phormium, commonly known as New Zealand Flax, is a genus in the Asphodelaceae family. This group includes perennial plants notable for their large, sword-like leaves and tall flower spikes.
These plants are ideally grown in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. The best time to plant Phormium is in the spring or early summer. With their architectural form and unique foliage, they make a striking addition to beds, borders, or as standalone specimens.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Phormium plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Aloe-veraMountain Avens, Ixiolirion, and Asphodeline plants.